Book Reviews for Late Autumn 2018

The First Society: The Sacrament of Matrimony and the Restoration of the Social Order By Scott Hahn. Reviewed by Matthew Rose. (skip to review) In Praise of the Useless Life: A Monk’s Memoir By Paul Quenon. Reviewed by Matthew K. M … [Read more...]

Questions Answered

Question: Jesus says: “Judge not.” (Mt. 7:1) When are we allowed to judge? Answer: The issue of judgement is an important moral problem. Judgement is an act of the virtue of justice. Since justice involves establishing equity between one … [Read more...]

When All Else Fails, Begin With Wonder

I often admire my young daughter’s capacity for awe. She is able to marvel at just about anything. A few days ago, she was closely examining two bugs she had found. “Look,” she told me excitedly. “This bug has long legs, and this bug has sho … [Read more...]

Understanding Anger in Those We Care For

A friend of mine conducted an informal survey of priests in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul to find out which sins were heard most often in the sacrament of reconciliation. No surprise that #1 transgression for men involved … [Read more...]

Is a Sense of Humor Necessary for Salvation?

Everyone needs to develop a certain flexibility in life or one simply becomes a grump, unable to be a healthy and realistic optimist in the face of trials and difficulties, failures and other mishaps of life. The flexible person first knows … [Read more...]

On Good and Evil in the Things That Afflict Us

What it means to say a condition is a good thing, and what it does not mean.

What is the proper attitude toward the afflictions God sends our way? Are they bad things, or good things? The answer is: “Both, but in respect to different things.“ I want especially here to concentrate on several types of conditions wit … [Read more...]

Meditations Upon the Virgin’s Virtues for Contemporary Clergy, Part 2

This continues the meditation begun in Part 1, here. Generosity: Mark 3: 31-35 Before Dr. Phil, there was a story about a couple who sought marriage counseling. The wife went in to see the counselor first, and alone. And after she left, … [Read more...]

Meditations Upon The Virgin’s Virtues for Contemporary Clergy, Part 1

Introduction What is the difference between a furrow and a rut? A furrow is an intentional emptiness cut into the earth in preparation for fullness. A farmer’s plow intentionally cuts a furrow, opening the earth to produce a full harvest. A … [Read more...]

The Plain Duty of Fasting

Is not the neglect of this plain duty (I mean fasting, ranked by our Lord with almsgiving and prayer) one general occasion of deadness among Christians? Can anyone willingly neglect it and be guiltless?[1. John Wesley, The Journal of John … [Read more...]

Self-esteem: Biblical or Distracting?

Self-esteem is a relatively modern concept that has been elevated to the point of an all-important virtue by pop psychology, perhaps the virtue in which all others can be found. Christians need to make sense of the word from their own … [Read more...]

The Slant of Glory

“Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Glory be to the Father…” (Ps 126:1) (Introit from the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.) In America, the gravity of major weekend games, … [Read more...]

Integral Ecology and the Ecological Virtues in Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’

Introduction Several weeks ago, I made a conscious decision to refrain from reading too much secondary literature on Pope Francis’s impending encyclical, Laudato Si’. And by noon on the day of its release, I was almost depressed. A flood of … [Read more...]

Maritain on Just About Everything

“God is an All-powerful Cause because He gives to all things their being and their very nature and acts in them, more intimate to them than they are to themselves, in the way that is proper to their essential being; thus assuring from w … [Read more...]

The Forgotten Vice in Seminary Formation

We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. —C. S. Lewis from The Abolition of Man. (This article originally appeared in the May 2006 print e … [Read more...]